tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC December 9, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PST
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good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. this friday we will reach the first big milestone in the signature piece of legislation from president barack obama's first term. december 14th is the deadline for states to notify the government will plans setting up health care exchanges mandated by the affordable care act. republican governors who have been dragging their feet can no longer treat the reform law like a boogeyman that will disappear if they wish hard enough. because, if i may borrow a phrase from method man, when the american people elected president obama, they let you know it's real. yes, it's really real son. even the president's political nemesis, john boehner, knows that to be true. >> you had said next year that you would repeal the health care vote. that still your mission?
>> i think the election changes that. it's pretty clear that the president was re-elected, obama care is the law of the land. >> now, of course, boehner promptly walked those comments back later that day. that doesn't make what he said any less of a fact. central to the implementation of that law is the creation of health care exchanges. now, let me explain. these aca exchanges are online marketplaces. in short, websites. the idea is to force insurance companies to play by the same rules and compete for a large pool of customers resulting in less expensive premiums for everyone. here's how it works. let's say you're one of the 50 million people in in country without health care. you're looking to get yourself covered. you'd log on to your state's exchange or call a hotline number. the goal is to shop around for whatever plan works best for you and your family. if you are living at 138% to 400% of the poverty line, that is a family of four living off an annual income of $31,809 to
$92,200, then you are eligible for government money to subsidize the cost of your premium. if you're above that level, you don't get the federal subsidy. the law requires every state to have a place for people to shop for coverage. there are three options on how they are created and operated. >> first, states can set up and run their own exchanges or if they're not quite ready to tackle is on their own, states can team up with the federal government for a partnership exchange until they're ready to handle it themselves. if a state does nothing, they are, in effect, choosing the default option of allowing the federal government to run the exchange for them. all of these exchanges must be ready to start signing up new customers as of october 1, 2013. they must be fully up and running by january 1, 2014. to date, 17 states and the district of columbia decided to establish their own state-based exchanges. five states are opting to
partner with the federal government and 18 states indicated they are unable or unwilling to establish either of those options. let me pause on that unwilling part for a minute. like the unwillingness of some republican governors to take responsibility for their own exchanges. nerdland, it has left me scratching my head. it's a lot like back in the 1990s when arsenio hall used to ponder things that make you go "hmm." if we know nothing else about the republican party, we know that the gospel of the gop is that states should have control over their own decisions and big federal government should butt out. why are the staunchest defenders of the idea that states know what's best for the states are the very same people who are content to let the federal government come in and run their health care markets? hmm. then there's a cost argue um. new jersey government chris christie vetoed a bill to set up a new jersey-run exchange
echoing other governors' claims over uncertainty of the cost for the states. how is that california, the state that will run the largest insurance market in the country has not only decided to run its own exchange but has managed to figure out a way to do it without touching a single dollar of its state general fund. hmm. >> finally, let's take the tally. republicans lost their fight against the aca when president obama first signed it. they lost again when the supreme court upheld it. then they lost one last time when the american people handed the president a mandate on aca by re-electing him. when exactly are the republicans going to give up the fight that they've already lost three times? hmm. with me at the table, new york university constitutional law professor, kenji yoshino. donna edwards of marylandment senior fellow, bob herbert and jayening off, the former director of consumer insurance
oversight at the u.s. department of health and human services. nice to have you all here. >> a long intro for what your job was. your role was to begin the i am plemtation of aca. in certain ways you got the plum part of the job where you get to cover your young people longer and the end of these insurance mandates in certain ways. but this is the hard part. what should we be looking for? >> exchanges, if they're implemented correctly, can for the first time give individuals who have had no bargaining power against insurance companies, the same bargaining power that they would have if they worked for a large business. through these exchanges, 16 million people who haven't been in the market before are going to buy insurance, they're required to buy insurance. a majority of them will be subsidized by the federal government. so what a great opportunity that is for insurance companies and the exchanges if they go to insurance companies and say, we've got this new market for
you. we want you to sell policies that provide good value. we want to have people be able to make apples to apples comparisons among standardized products. that's going to drive prices down and improve quality. >> jay, before we open it up to the table, i want to hammer that home. this is the thing i've found most confusing around the fight of the aca. i get the partisan part. what i haven't been able to understand is why a private industry like insurance, would be against an expansion of its market that is underwritten by the federal government for the most part, private companies, insurance companies are getting more customers and many of those customers with some checks from the federal government. why would they be against this sm. >> they're not. the republicans are in trouble because there are different constituencies. there are people, the tea party people, the idea logs, those who want to pretend it doesn't
exist. they're engaged in massive resistance so they want the governors to do nothing. on the other hand, the insurance companies, who are much more sophisticated and the hospitals, they would much rather have the states run these exchanges because they believe in general, not all of the time, they will get a better deal from the states. the states will be more solicitous. the states will not standardize benefit packages and make comparisons. ironically, they want the governors and the states to elect to do the state exchange. the other part of the constituency, the tea party people, they just want the state to do nothing and allow the federal government to do it. >> congressman, why this way of writing the law that still gives so much of the power to states when we knew that they were going to be recalcitrant in i am plemtation? >> this represented a compromise. those are us who wanted
versatility in the system and the federal government set the standards across the board. instead, what we did is set up a system that allows states the flexibility of setting up their own exchanges. i think there's a good bonus point in here for the administration and for where we want to go overall for the health care system. that is, with the recalcitrant governors in the states who don't want to set up their exchanges, the federal government gets do that, it gets to do it across the board in all of these states. had a state like texas then becomes a major, major market mace for experimentation, unlike my home state of maryland which is only about 5 million people. when we do it, we do it for maryland but not necessarily a bellwether for the rest of the country. you do it for a state like texas and aggregate the other recalcitrants. then you have universal at. >> you have the textbooks written in texas and it becomes the standard. >> when we look at the most
uninsured states, the states where right now at this moment the most americans are without insurance, they're predictable in some ways. texas is at the top of that. mississippi is there, florida, so you see a lot of the southern states, mine, louisiana, number 11. some of them are a little bit more surprising. but when we look at that list, it actually overlaps with the list that is most likely to be resisting pretty powerful. the very fact that the governors in the states with the least insured people are the ones resisting it. >> it's bizarre. because the gop is a party in denial for a long time. a lot of this stuff. what's interesting, it seems to me to the point that you're making, if you come into a state where you have a lot of people who are uninsured and a lot of people who don't have a lot of money, it's more likely that the federal government will set up a system that will be beneficial to those types than the states themselves would. so the gop governors, the
ultraright wingers are fighting against themselves in so many ways. one of the ironies is that the battle cry that goes up against the federal government or any kind of federal support for health care is we don't want the federal government coming in here and taking over our health insurance, our health system. when in fact, that's exactly what they're doing. >> please come in. >> it is very bizarre. >> there's a way in which it feels like, it's revealing that the ideological cleavage about state's rights, it's a political one. >> that's absolutely right. i want to go back to the affordable care act decision. if you look at the states rights folks, they would disagree with the characterization of round 2 of obama care with the supreme court upholding it. you're right the supreme court upheld obama care. what the states rights will point to sleeper strands in that opinion that are pro states
rights. chief justice roberts for a majority of the court said it violates congress's power under the commerce clause. he's placing real restrictions on the commerce power which has been the ace through which the federal government exerted authority over the nation. second, there are real restrictions placed in the restriction clause rather than the individual mandate. that spending clause restriction is going to be significant. these are seeds to not be too much of a conspiracy theorist that the supreme court is planting that it expects to grow in the future. people who are concerned with state's rights are reading that opinion saying we have allies in the supreme court now. we can do more. >> it's part of why the reelection of president obama was so critical was because we're looking at potentially two more supreme court justices in the next four years. hold on to the medicaid. we'll stay on that. just before we get to a conversation about medicaid, we're going to go to new jersey. a lot of those states were former confederate state.
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if you're going to tell me by december 14th. if i don't have the information, i can make a smart decision. if you can't give me the information, you run it. >> that was new jersey governor chris christie a few days ago attempting to convince jon stewart why it made sense for him to veto a bill to run a state run health exchange. joining from detroit is the assistant dean of community and urban health at wayne state university. nice to see you, doctor. >> nice so see you. thank you for inviting me.
>> absolutely. what do you make of the governor's argument? >> well, i'm sorry, i didn't hear the exact argument. but i would say that 95% of the cost of the aca are really the expansion of medicaid and the health insurance exchanges. most of those costs actually borne by the federal government. for example, the medicaid expansion of the almost trillion dollars over ten years, $930 billion is federal money. the subsidies for the expansion of the exchanges, it's about $800 billion borne by the federal government. the one thing i did want to say is that right now we spend in this country about $100 billion a year on uncompensated care or free care for the uninsured. 20% of those costs are borne by state and local governments.
that is $20 billion a year. so if you're talking about the expense that the states will bear for example for the medicaid expansion, it's about $8 billion. $8 billion over ten years. actually, they're going to be getting -- we're going to be eliminating almost $200 billion in costs they currently spend on the uninsured by the state and local governments. >> dr. smitherman, one of the reasons i love having you on, it's like you're a wealth of information about what the implementation actually looks like. so jay, i wanted to ask you, what we heard the governor saying was well i just didn't have enough information. you were in the administration during the aca passage. did you guys just not do a good enough job -- this has been a critique from a lot of media sources and the public, telling people what the aca is, how it's going to impact their lives and how it's going to be implemented? >> yes. in particular, in may of this year, we put out guidance on
exactly what the federally operated exchange would look like. governor christie knows what to compare it to. i'm surprised, they're a progressive state. jeply in a bipartisan way. i'm a little surprised about that. there's a separate funding stream that states can access if they establish their own exchanges but not if they don't establish their own exchanges. it really doesn't make too much sense. >> they're actually turning down money here. the one way that it makes sense if you think of christie as running for office. he's running for 2016 bob and that he somehow believes there is still a basis for running against obama care in 2016. >> this is what i mean by the gop being in denial. they are captive of the ultra-conservatives, the right wing in their party. so they think politically and
then they end up in opposition to what's happening in the nation. not just in terms of voting and election. i mean, they're on the wrong side of history in some of these issues. >> so christie is up against that. new jersey is not a backward retrograde state. >> neither is louisiana or mississippi. having lived in both, i'm just saying. >> i am not going to dump on your state or your home state of louisiana. but mississippi has had some problems going back a number of decades. but the republicans are never going to make any headway politically and they're never going to make headway socially/legislatively if they remain in denial about where the people are on some of these big issues. >> i want to ask you about this, congressman. part of what we see in the case of chris christie that's so surprising, he literally embraced the president around sandy, right? sandy hit, you have this enormous cost associated with
it. he goes as governor and says i'm going to partner with the federal government to address the needs of my people in a disaster. well, hello, governor. health care is also a disaster. >> for two years in the two-year time frame, three years that the states have had to review implementing the health insurance exchanges, there's been plenty of time to put that information together. after all, there are plenty of states that have done that. i think what has happened, this becomes another way to litigate the affordable care act only the parties are already done. and the american people are done. >> ship is sailing. >> right. >> i think you know, if the president waited two years to implement sandy relief, governor christie would be really annoyed. he needs to get on with it. 100%, i think, of the cost of the medicaid expansion is borne by the federal government. >>eer going to come to this issue of medicaid on this issue.
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how do they do that? more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. pick up a ridgid jobmax multi-tool starter kit and get a free head attachment. earlier i talked about the options on insurance exchanges for everybody living above 138% of the poverty level. what about the people below the line? those are the individuals living off of $15,415 a year or the families of three living on just 26,000. for those, the poorest of uninsured americans, the affordable care act lowers the eligibility floor for medicaid which expands coverage to an estimated 17 million more people by the year 2016. or it would if some of those people weren't being left behind by the governors of their own states. the supreme court's decision on the aca upheld most of the law and it also gave states the choice to opt out of medicare
expansion. as of today, nine states have given a definite no to expanding coverage to their poorest uninsured with an additional six likely to follow their lead. this despite the fact that the federal government will be the ones shouldering the lion's share of the cost. dr. smitherman, i want to come to you quickly on this. there's two things going on. the refusal to set upment exchanges and the refusal to expand medicaid despite the fact that the cost is carried by the federal government. the poorest and most vulnerable people will be the ones most left out of what aca can do. >> exactly. if you look at some of these states that are talking about refusing, the expansion of medicaid, for example, texas, it has the highest number of uninsured in the united states. 26%. florida, 25%. georgia, 22%. louisiana, your favorite state, 22%. >> my favorite state but not my
favorite governor. >> right. but if you look at the amount of money you're talking about that they're turning down. for example, texas is talking about turning down $66 billion over ten years for its poor and for its uninsured. florida, $65 billion. georgia $33 billion. louisiana $16 billion for its uninsured and its poor. this is unsustainable. like you said, 95, 97% of all the resources are going to be borne by the federal government. and the important issue also to know is that 83% of the people we're talking about, that is the uninsured, work every day. this is the working poor. >> yep. >> we're not talking about freeloaders or people sitting around. most of this population works two or even three jobs. we're talking about the working poor. >> that said, dr. smitherman.
there's an epidemiological claim to be made, even if they were freeloaders, there's a kind of human rights to health care. >> yes, of course. >> but i feel you. that's kind of the politics of it. >> that's the label of the republican gop party. they keep sago owe they're using these terms. they're incorrect actually. they're not accurate to the population we're talking about. >> absolutely. kenji, part of how we end up here, right, with this possibility of framing it this way is because of the carrot and stick issue. >> exactly. >> related to the tenth amendment and how the supreme court read aca on this. >> exactly. the tenth amendment says that any power that isn't explicitly given to the federal government falls back to the states. unless you can find the power that congress has and the laundry list of powers in article 1, section 8, that congress is not permitted to do this. the power that congress is relying on is the so-called spending power.
that has to do with carrots. we're not going to force you do this. this is different from the individual mandate. thank goodness we don't have to talk about that anymore. this is more about incentivizing the states to engage. how much to engage in that kind of encouragement without tipping over into a kind of coercion that would be commandeering the states in an inappropriate way. >> if you don't expand, then we'll take your current medicaid funding, right in. >> exactly. >> isn't this precisely how the drinking age gets raised to 21 in every single state. if you don't raise your drinking age to 2, we're taking your highway funds. why is this different? >> it's different because of exactly this issue of the distinction between encouragement and coercion. if you look at the case that you're referring to, which is a 1987 south dakota versus dole case, the facts were the federal government says we're going to withhold highway funds if you don't raise your drinking age
from 18 to 21. you can see the nexus there, right? because of drunk driving on the highways and so on and so forth. the way in which chief justice roberts actually for a seven-member majority of the court in the case last june distinguished that case by saying that was encouragement that was 10% of the highway funds. whereas, this is a much bigger proportion of state budgets. >> got you. >> not just a highway budget but the entire state budget is based -- goes to medicaid. about 50% that of is being given by the federal government. he says this is not encouragement. this is a gun to the head. >> yeah. >> i would just say that the states that now say no, we're not going to accept the medicaid expansion, that doesn't mean they say no forever. not just because it's good for poor people. they may not care about them in particular. but the hospitals want it. >> yeah. >> exactly. >> the hospitals are losing
payments they now get to take care of the uninsured and the -- in exchange, they're supposed to get the medicaid expansion. if they don't, they don't get either. >> this is the crazy bobbyin dal fight going on. if we look at the map of the states resisting it. these are states, particularly in new orleans and louisiana, this massive expansion of building hospitals and all of this sort of thing. but then not wanting to do the medicaid. there is so much more. i want to give everyone more time. everyone is hanging out with us. thank you jay angohh or being here and you dr. smitherman in detroit. at some point you have to come from detroit and hang out with us at the table. >> okay. thank you so much. coming up later, the gymnast who the whole world flipped for. gabrielle douglas joins us live onset. up next, love and marriage. and the law. could we soon see the real equality at the altar?
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and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. on friday the highest court in the land announced it's considering two cases challenging the rights for same-sex marriage. the supreme court may not decide the entire issue of legalizing same-sex marriage across the country, the questions the court will consider are certainly going to have a landmark effect on the struggle for marriage equality. on the docket are california's proposition 8 which amended the state constitution to specifically ban same-sex marriage and will be considered alongside new york's challenge to the federal defense of marriage act or doma. the cases aren't expected to be decided until next june, the fact that they're weighing in on the debate will have a national effect. back at the table. kenji yoshino. donna edwards, bob herbert and
joining us is ray kerry. the executive director of the guy and lesbian task force. i'm going to you kenji, you're always here to set my constitutional framework for me. it's going to be two cases, right? what's at issue in the two separate cases. >> i should do them in the order you presented them. the prop 8 case is about a state ban on same-sex marriage. so there are equal protection and due process challenges. what that means is, this violates the fundamental right of fairness of streeting gay and straight couples the same. you're denying us the fundamental right to marriage. there's a quality component and a rights component to it. if the supreme court goes big on that case, it could guarantee same-sex marriage as a law of the land. flipping the 41 states that currently don't have it and requiring them to have it. i don't think that's going to happen. on the other hand, i don't think that the supreme court is going to do nothing because i think that justice kennedy is not
going to want to go down in history that way. i think they're going to choose a more paragraphs moan yus solution. there's a one-state solution, there's an eight-state solution. there's various ways they can pick. some future decision will wipe out the remaining out liars further down the road. doma cases are slightly different. i think the doma challenge is much narrower challenge and i expect it to be much more optimistic about a kind of flat-out ruling that this is unconstitutional by the supreme court. the reason i think that, melissa, doma doesn't require any state to change its marriage laws. all it says is the federal government is going to return to what the federal government was always doing before. we were talking about federalism issues earlier in the show. in the history of marriage, the federal government has always deferred to state definitions of marriage. let me give you an example. some states allow first cousins to marry, others don't because
of prohibitions, incest concerns and things like that. whatever the state definitions are, the federal government has always followed the state definition. if a state says they're married, the federal government says for the purposes of benefits they're married. in 1996, the defense of marriage act departed from that practice and said the federal government is going to intermettle in family law and say that marriage is only between one man and one woman. >> these are one of the few moments when progressives get down with states' rights. we were talking about this yesterday around marijuana legalization. suddenly, now we're all for states' rights. similarly, this is where we have started to see some fro o. progress. what made election night 2012 so exciting is what happened in maryland in part. because maryland came along on marriage equality. >> it was inevitable. to say when the president came out in support of marriage equality, it opened up space,
particularly space among african-americans where i live to pass marriage equality. you can see this happening. it's a generational change. people are looking at this differently. and the law has to catch up. >> i don't want to interrupt you. but i want to reveal what you're saying here. when we look at the recent quinnipiac polls on marriage in general, we see kind of the support in opposition is 48, 46. when we look by age, it's really kind of a generational question. secular change over time is going to bring it. by race, as you just point out, as much as we hear blacks versus gays narrative that we often here, the fact is by race, we have a majority of african-americans, 52% and latinos, 59% in support of marriage equality in the election in 2012. >> that's absolutely right. there's been so much progress in addition to the president coming out for marriage and i agree creating that space.
naacp, national council la ross a, labor groups, there's a broader excitement around the protections of families in this country and realizing that doma is not a nerdy policy matter sitting on capitol hill. it has real life impact and harm for families around the country. there's a national discussion happening about the freedom to marry in this country and the supreme court is stepping into that discussionment. >> there seems to be enthusiasm. the level of emotion that people were having about the willingness of the court to hear it was somewhat surprising to me, bob. >> people are pumped up. i'm very surprised by this. there was a time not long ago where you couldn't even mention gay in sort of like ordinary public discourse. so there's been a sea change and there's no question about the momentum now. this is what i mean again about the conservatives or right wingers being on the wrong side of history. this whole idea of preventing gays from marrying whomever they
want to is going to go down. it's a request of when that occurs. that's why i agree with kenji. i don't think that the supreme court is going to wipe this out and say that it's unconstitutional for gays to marry. i can't imagine that happening. but long-term, gays will be able to marry whomever they want. we're going to stay on this issue a bit more. up next, the other court's decision on the incredible milestone that we saw this week on the issue of marriage equality. [ female announcer ] think you need to go to a department store counter for a professional cleansing device? join the counter revolution and switch to olay pro-x. get cleansing results as effective as a $200 system. guaranteed or your money back. olay pro-x. they see more than themselves.. look in the mirror, so we celebrate our year-end with the "share the love" event. get a great deal on a new subaru
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i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. it was a banner week for marriage equality. on thursday, washington state officially began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. within the first six hours, 279 couples were authorized. today the first legal same-sex marriages in the state will take place. also this week, a new quinnipiac
poll showed for the first time ever white catholics support same-sex marriages. in other cultural indicators that the national conscience around marriage equality turning, jet magazine, an institution of black publishing, featured a gay couple in the wedding announcement section. the real test comes next year at the supreme court. small steps are adding up to huge strides for same sex couples. i'm a little interested, however, in rea, let's say we win marriage. >> let's say. >> we look at the polls and the trends. that's where we're moving. marriage will not solve all of the fundamental civil inequalities of housing and employment facing particularly parts of the lgbt community that are largely untouched by marriage. what does the rest of the agenda look like as the marriage battle begins to be won sm. >> that's exactly right. in fact, i came back from maine
after election night and the next day i was struck by something. i thought thousands of couples across this country are going to go and have the weddings of their lifetime and put the picture of themselves on their desk and some of them are going to get fired. that's where we are in this country. >> yep. >> legally. >> legally fired. in 29 states in this country, there are barely any protections for lbgt people. many people still walk into work every work every day terrified they'll be fired. they can't secure the housing they want. we could have marriages happening, transgender could be going to their friend's wedding and denied a hotel room. >> legally. i don't want anybody to miss. we're not talking about things -- >> within the law or lack of law for that matter. we see case after case, as i like to call it the day after marriage. won't exactly feel like that. a lot of people will wake up and realize, marriage doesn't solve every problem.
it doesn't solve immigration, it doesn't solve the poverty of our country and our community is facing. it won't solve so many of the issues, economic issues that are faced by lgbt people in this country. >> one of the important arguments made around marriage equality has been about health care, right? >> one of the big arguments made is i got to be able to cover my partner, my spouse, my beloved under my health care. if we had universal health care access, then marriage would become less important for straight and gay couples. >> i think that's true. but i do think that getting over the marriage hurdle puts us well beyond where we need to be to get through some of these other really legal hurdles. i look at marriage, look, i wasn't a good straight married person. anybody who wants to get married, i'm like so happy for them. it's been such a barrier, it then allows us to look at these other things in a lot different space and with a different kind
of public that's also examination it. >> there's something about the fundamental humanity of marriage, kenji. when loving -- it's actually post '64 civil rights act. past the voting rights act. these other issues had been taken care of in terms of legislation. but there was still the need to redress the issue of interracial marriage. >> they forget this try cot mi between the social rights. the idea of rights of association as being the last untouchable place where equality norms would penetrate, i think it's really the tact that marriage is always the last thing, right? so as you say, 1967 is lovey versus virginia. employment discrimination, 13 years after brown versus board of education. the supreme court had a marriage case on its bokt in 1956. but kicked it. because it didn't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole so
waited for more states to come around. it's also the year that guess who's coming to dinner comes out. there's a cultural legal convergence. we're at that moment for the gay community now. one of the historians in the gay marriage trial, nancy kauts, a historian of marriage, she said one of the emancipated slaves after -- the slaves flocked to get married. she testified that one of the emancipated slaves said the marriage covenant is a foundation of all of our rights. so i totally agree with rea that this is just the beginning but it is an important cornerstone to building full equality for lgbt citizens. >> this question of sort of how enslaved people thought about marriage, the extent to which they engaged in formal marriages and then the extent to which ones given the freedom it became one of the first things that free people did to represent their freedom is instructive to all of us. even as we don't want to making gay in the 21st century is not the same as being enslaved.
there are the important ways of thinking about the fundamental humanity of it. speaking of which, when we come back, i'm going to share with you one of the most courageous and loving experiences i had ever had an opportunity to be a part of. it was on thursday. two nerdland favorites are back to show us the meaning of it all. rea, thank you for being here. bob is sticking around. we'll give his voice some more. sometimes what we suffer from is bigger than we think ... like the flu. with aches, fever and chills- the flu's a really big deal. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies.
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despite all this talk about marriage, i'm actually a cynic when it comes to weddings. those blessed events that have created a recession proof industry of conspicuous consumption under the guys of tradition and love. it wants to snark on the practice of weddings but i was reminded in the end, i'm a mushy mess when it comes to two fantastic people finding genuine
happiness and deciding to celebrate. because on thursday morning, i attended and cried at the wedding of a couple i first met at the white house during the lgbt pride month reception in june. an event at which scout a transgender man shocked liz, his lesbian girlfriend with a surprise proposal. we shared their story on mhp and prompted a flood of hate mail and violent responses. despite that hate, scout and liz chose love and courage in a ceremony that was at once stark and exquisite, this couple reminded me of what weddings are supposed to be. >> i'm liz margulies. i'm getting married today. me. married. scoutie? >> yes. >> i'm home. >> hello. >> i went my whole life not getting married. it seems funny to do it now. and having been a lesbian for so
many years and the complication of the institution of marriage, i'm embarrassed that i'm joining the club after all my protests to the contrary. i still believe everything i said. but it's also said why i'm eloping today. it feels right for me and scout. >> i really like this day. >> i guess i had thought that it might have been our anniversary for a little while. then i realized it actually is the anniversary of when i came out to myself, which was actually exactly 30 years ago today. so i guess for me, it's symbolic. it's the start of an incredible journey and it's been a happy day in my world. i'm looking for my vows. i had them while i was jogging. i had them right. i feel like at this point i should still carry them with me just in case. i will throw them in my pocket again. >> we're on our way to the only lgbt synagogue in new york city. we're going to meet in the new building although it hasn't been renovated yet. >> where is this place?
>> there we go. >> now what you do by coming together in this fashion is by creating a model for others. so that others will know that it's on your shoulders they get to stand. to live the life of complexity and texture and with all of the messiness that it entails. love is possible. you may kiss each other and break the glass. >> maz he will to have. >> i still feel like me. it meant more than me. a lot of more than i thought it would. it's not for everybody. i promise to still fight to change what marriage is as well as its availability to those who want it. >> decades from now, anybody who is supporting doma will feel like a complete fool. we're very happy that more and more people are finally understanding that you're standing on the wrong side of history to support something that denies people civil rights
and we know we'll soon be part of our history. >> to love instead of hate. >> everybody should have the ability to hope for someone who loves them as much as we love each other. >> come june, we can only hope the supreme cortices a place for more scout and lizs in this country. when we come back, we're getting real about guns. ♪ the weather outside is frightful ♪ ♪ but the fire is so delightful ♪
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we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. on the last night of her life, 22-year-old kassandra perkins attended a concert in kansas city. less than 12 hours later, javon belcher, the father of her almost 3-month-old baby fatally shot her after an argument. belcher then drove to where he works, thanked his bosses and told them as police sirens approached, i got to go, i can't be here. then he shot himself in the
head. the main reason we know kassandra's name is because of the way her murderer dressed when he went to work. like this. he was a linebacker for the nfl's kansas city chiefs and took his own life at their practice facility in front of his general manager and coaches. belcher's role as a public figure within a favorite national pastime is a big reason why people are talking about this instance of gun violence and that and bob costas during a football prod cast spoke up about violence, quoting this from a column by jason whitlock of fox sports.com. our current gun culture whitlock ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultima traj ji and more teenage boys will be bloodied and dead. hand guns do not enhance our safety, they exacerbate our
flaws, tempt us to -- bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. in the coming days, javon belcher's actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. who knows? but hear wrote jason whitlock. if javon belcher didn't possess a gun, he and kassandra perkins would loath be alive today. >> costas and whitlock, were talking about the death of jordan davis. a florida student was killed in a hail of bullets fired by a motorist over the volume of the music jordan and his friends were playing. we haven't forgotten the hundreds and thousands of nameless people who are nameless to the media who are falling victim to gun violence in cities like chicago. how many more kassandras and jordan and trayvons and gabby giffords do we need before our political leaders talk seriously about our country's gun problem. with me at the table, law
professor, kenji yoshino, donna edwards of maryland. senior fellow at dee moes, bob herbert and john a nanny, the founder of a program dedicated to introducing urban and rural high school students to activities. >> you've written column after column about guns and gun violence in our country. every time, he have time there's this kind of high-profile incident, we say now we're going to have the national conversation. but then we never really do. >> i'm pessimistic on this issue. we were talking about gay marriage earlier. that's an issue where i think we're moving in the right direction. there's a lot of momentum on important stuff, including health care for example. on guns, forget about it. i think we're going backwards. we have these atrocities, periodically. sometimes it seems like almost every few weeks. as you say, we talk about it, we're outraged and appalled. we do nothing about it.
we make guns more and more accessible, make it easier and easier for young people to get their hands-on guns. it's terrible. when martin luther king and bobby kennedy were murdered, more than a million and a quarter americans have been killed by guns. more than a million and a quarter. that's homicide, suicides, accidental deaths. that's just going to continue to rise. >> the vast majority of gun deaths are not -- we'll talk a little bit about the ways in which many women do die. for the most part, they're not the aurora, colorado, shootings. right? you represent in part, pg county, i live in new orleans, lived in chicago many years. the gun violence that most of what we see is happening with young african-american men. just feels like maybe part of why we don't talk much about it is because the people who are mostly dying of it aren't very valuable to us as a country. >> i think because in the
congress, we have wanted jurisdiction where we've failed to use it. need a handgun to go deer hunting or duck hunting. we haven't been able to draw those kind of distinctions as a rationale for removing guns from our streets and whether you're in law enforcement or you're the young african-american male on a corner in a home, it doesn't matter. you're in great jeopardy of losing your life because of guns. so i do think it needs to be, it has to be a national priority and it isn't just a conversation. so i think about my former colleague, gabby giffords, who is doing really well right now in her recovery. but recovering from a gunshot wound that she shouldn't have had to suffer. >> others who were standing next to her who did not survive. >> our colleague ron barber, same thing. this epidemic of gun violence, the fact that in my congressional district, i can tell you right now where gun shops are. they're not having a problem
unloading those guns in a manner of speaking to young people who come and purchase them or acquire them somehow. we've got to deal with this. it's going to take not just congressional leadership. it's actually going to take presidential leadership to open this conversation. we haven't done that. >> kenji, i want to ask you you about the second aemt. people know i have a scandal obsession. there was a great line in the film where this week where there's conversation about i bet you stopped after the second aemt. he was talking to the conservative. what does the second amendment tell us about gun ownership? >> the second amendment says a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state. the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. >> the big debate about the
clause where -- if you go back to what parker is doing in grammar, restrictive -- parker is your daughter. >> exactly. >> if the initial prefatory clause with restrictive, you have the right to bear arms so long as you're in a militia. if it's descriptive, the use of guns is one example of which you have the right to bear arms. 200, the second interpretation is right. the militia is one example where there is an individual right to bear afrms. this is the heller case. in 2010, that right is extended so that it plies not against the federal government but against the states. that's from the gun control perspective the bad news. the good news, i think this often gets lost in these debates. is that no constitutional right is absolute. so let's think about the first amendment. i have a right to free speech. that's a fundamental right. but that doesn't mean i can yell obscenities at you during the show. the fact that i have a second amendment right doesn't mean i can bring a handgun into 30
rock. all of these rights do is to shift the burden on the government to come up with a sufficiently compelling interest in order to override the right that i have. >> it does feel like under almost -- the one problem that happens when we focus on a single case when we're talking about gun control is, then we just start talking about that case. in the case of kassandra perkins, it's almost impossible to imagine from my perspective when we wouldn't allow individuals to have in their own home a licensed handgun, right? it's one thing when we talk about assault weapons and the automatic weapons in a street crime. but it's hard to imagine that there's anything currently on the agenda that would have restricted belcher from having a gun. when we come back, i'm going to bring in my other guest. i'm saving him until after the break because john and i want to complicate this question about what we think will save inner city kids.
john has a possibility of saving inner city kids by putting guns this their hands. you're going to want to see this when we come back. oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve great rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. so i never missed a beat. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
we're talking about the role that guns play in our lives and how we tend to examine this in the public sphere when shocking incidents give us perspective. one of my guests today is seeking to give young people proper perspective through proper instruction. his name is john anoni. an allentown, pennsylvania, educator, who is the founder of camp compass. a fishing, hunting retreat where the campers aren't just backpacking. they're also packing. ron allen profiled the camp in 2009. >> john's classroom is the great outo. outdoors.
that's why he's at this range. a lesson about shooting and patience and per sis tense. trying to inspire his students to dream big. >> now. >> i did it. >> there is an element of trying to give our kids the ability to see something outside of the box. >> skeptics told him he shouldn't be teaching inner city kids about guns. but he insists he gets positive results. >> good shot. >> nobody is running around the streets with guns. our kids are respecting them. >> those are tools that i use to alter kids' lives. >> back with me is the founder and leader of camp compass. talk to me about this. >> it's something where for me, growing up, as we know, if you followed my history, a bunch of abuse. i happened to get sent to a lot of camps because my grandmother couldn't handle me. there i found a love for shooting.
being abused as a child, leaving the house was the solution. and behind the housing project was a little plot of land that i found that if i could concentrate on critters, it took me away. it allowed me to be out of the situation. from there, went through school like i was supposed to. and graduated and came back and started teaching the inner city school in my hometown. the books around here aren't cutting it. what could i do above and beyond. ultimately, it's my job as an educator to try to do the best job i can to open up a box for a child. started looking at what affected my life. good, bad and ugly. what affected my life. when it came down to it, the nitty-gritty of it was being able to shoot the disciplines that i learned from that, the right and wrong through my life that i learned from it was part of the solution.
>> look, i want to -- part of the reason i really wanted to have you here, i feel like this part of the conversation often drops out. that there's an assumption that there is progressives who are against guns and there are african-american, particularly in cities who are against guns and then people for guns. people who are for guns -- we had the nra saying that kassandra perkins should have had a gun, should have had a handgun, if she had -- that's a little -- i'm sorry. one thing missing in the equation is that the woman owning a gun so she could save her life from that murderer. that's different from what you're saying here? >> it's something -- armchair quarterbacks is easy to do. we have a problem. the problem was a gentleman made the wrong decision or made a decision that's going to affect not only the young baby's life but families. you know, from my perspective and my view, what he did
committed a crime. right and wrong. when somebody talks about, hey, john, you're going down a direction that's a little dangerous, ultimately myself as an educator, when i get up in the morning and have the opportunity to help, it's what i have to do. >> all right. bob, all week -- i want to see what bob has to say after john says that. bob? >> what i want to look at is the bottom line. if you have kids at a camp from the inner city who are learning how to assemble and disassemble a rifle and learning proper safety and shooting and hunting and that sort of thing. i'm not hung up on that. what i'm hung up on are the tens of thousands, scores of thousands of americans who are murdered by guns as the years and the decades pass. we're not addressing that issue. we're making guns more and more accessible. we have kids in the inner city. you mentioned chicago.
a horrifying number of school kids die in chicago from gunshot wounds every year. we're not doing anything about that. we feel like we can't even restrict or register guns properly. we can't train people who are going to have access to guns on how to use them. >> in his column, jason whitlock says these are connectsed. on the one hand, you see john with the kids. but we have whitlock saying, i believe that we have to re-examine our love aware with guns, they don't protect us from tyranny. guns are a macho accessory like a sports car. he's saying they are connected. >> we have to get rid of the guns that are out there. we have to reduce the number of guns that are available and we have to change the culture of violence in this country that says that if you are upset about something or someone the thing to do is to reach for a gun. until we start to do those two things, we are not going to seriously reduce the number of homicides. >> i mean, i'd like to -- restructure the culture of
violence. you know, the culture of decision. because there are decisions being made. you know, i just lost another young man to gun violence. it doesn't stop me from wanting to give my other kids life. it's something where, you know, i look and ultimately i look at mr. costas delivering this message and why aren't we blaming the camera? the camera delivered the mess e message. >> if we can't bring a gun into 30 rock, which thank goodness we can't. why can't we expand the restrictions so there are more and more places where you can't have a gun, can't bring a gun? >> because somebody that's going to do something wrong doesn't care what you can do. that's where i'm looking and saying, you know, the tragedy that i see is this young football player took his life and took someone else's who he evidently loved. he took her life. but then he went ahead and carried that message to three
more people who he supposedly loved. >> i don't know what would have happened in the javon belcher case, if guns were tougher to get ahold of. but i wish he had had a harder time getting his hand on that gun. >> so we're going to go to break. there's one other aspect of this casey want to talk about. to give you a little love, john, i want to show you a picture on my niece's facebook page on thanksgiving morning. this is my dad to the far right in the orange hat. my nieces and my cousins. this is what they spent thanksgiving morning doing. i'm so afraid that fox news is going to say i'm raising a militia. the only point is, i was raised in the south with a father who is a hunter. i do get your point. i don't always agree. i get it. i understand there's a position of love from which those things happen. at the same time, being a new orleanian and a chicagoan, i feel the pain of it. i actually think it's quite complicated. when we come back, we'll talk about the other aspect of this. the fact that kassandra perkins
did not have to die, it's not about guns, there's also an issue about domestic violence when we come back. es with tooth. but they have to use special care in keeping the denture clean. dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident is designed to clean dentures daily. its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher, brighter every day.
that's the power of the home depot. pick up a ridgid jobmax multi-tool starter kit and get a free head attachment. most of the talk about the murder ever kassandra perkins and javon belcher, the man who killed her, has been about guns. we can't forget the tact that this was an act of domestic violence. my colleague at the nation, jessica va'a length i expressed this best. when she wrote when the media reports domestic violence as random tragedies or that he snapped, they enable a culture of violence against women. when you don't contextualize it, you give credence to the myth that there's nothing anyone could have done to stop it. joining me from boston is the columnist from the nation is jessica. hi. thanks for having me.
>> you name your piece that she did not have to die. explain your argument there. >> the argument is that you know, kind of calling what happened to kassandra perkins a random tragedy, comforts us. it makes us feel like there was nothing we could have done to prevent it. domestic violence murders follow a career pattern. they're absolutely preventible. while it's comforting and nice to say there's nothing we could have done, that's not the truth. it's putting others' lives in danger as we go forward. >> i appreciate the critique of the nfl that's emerging as part of this. a critique about issues of whether or not head injuries were part of this. but the fact is that belcher killed her but not his mother who was there and it's not as though he went on a random shooting spree. he made some clear choices about those whose lives he took. >> that's exactly right. while we don't know for sure if there was past violence in this particular relationship, what we do know points to a clear pat he shall of domestic violence.
we know from college sports, he was in violent and controlling arguments with women in the past. we know that perkins was leaving or had left him. women in abusive relationships are most likely to be killed when they're leaving. another risk factor is that pregnant women and new mothers are at an increased risk for being killed by their abusive partners. that's especially true for young black women. when you take this into consideration, a larger point emerges. that leads clearly to domestic violence. >> i want to bring in the congresswoman. we're sitting on a nonreauthoritization against women act just as this not at all random tragedy occurs. >> i was on the committee since 1994. it's been noncontroversial republicans and democrats supported that. yet, now it sits hanging in the balance, just sitting waiting to be acted on because republicans have put -- have said, we're not going to do this.
we want to distinguish between certain kinds of victims and other kinds of victims. precisely for that reason, millions of women around this country actually are in great jeopardy of not receiving the counseling support and intervention services that they need so they don't experience what kassandra had to experience. i think the nfl actually does have knowledge that they describe it as some difficulties in the relationships. well, i suspect that when all of this is out, we're going to find that in fact there was a history of domestic violence that and the mere fact that there was a gun present in the home and in possession of belcher meant that it put her at greater risk of losing her life. >> the congresswoman brought up one of the things we've learned is that apparently this couple had been in counseling, yet, apparently sort of the way that therapists talk about this. counseling is actually not a good strategy in the context of domestic violence if in fact violence is occurring in the relationship. >> that's right. especially when you're talking about couples counseling.
because then it sets up this framework ha says, it's the relationship that's the problem. it's a couples problem as opposed to it's the abuser's problem and need to deal with the behavior of the abuser. it's not the right way to go about things certainly. >> thank you, jessica in boston. this is a tragedy, perhaps not a random one but a tragedy. but still an opportunity for us to try to make meaning out of the tragedy and learn something more about who we can be together as a country. still coming up, olympic gold medalist gabrielle douglas. but first the great pre tenders. are there good intention sending a mixed message when we come back. you know how painful heartburn can be. for fast, long lasting relief, use doctor recommended gaviscon®. only gaviscon® forms a protective barrier that helps block stomach acid from splashing up- relieving the pain quickly.
allies for those seeking marriage equality. allies are important. but at times the ways in which an ally chooses to support a cause can overshadow the very issue. there's timothy can you remember i can, a young christian who sought to bring attention to the church's views on homosexuality and chose do that by living as a homosexual man for a year. who can forget super model tyra banks head turning experiment of wearing a fat suit to bring attention to the negative treatment aimed at people who are obese. starting this past tuesday, newark new jersey mayor, cory booker started living on a food budget of $30 a week or $4.32 a day which is equal to the people in snap receive. his aim? for people to care about food justice for all. while each experiment were noble attempts to bring attention to issues, they also run the risk of appearing unauthentic.
not a long-term reality. the reality that -- pretending to understand one another's experience, one striving to be an ally can sometimes unintentionally fail to acknowledge his or her own privilege. at the table, bob herbert, donna edwards and kengji o yoe shin oe and nice to see you sadr. >> thank you for having me. >> you're one of the great pretende pretenders. in the kind of work you do as a sociologist is to enter into participant observer work. what is the value of pretending as a way to learn? >> on the one hand, i applaud the kind of efforts that the mayor is doing in newark. you have to draw attention to this. we need to understand that there's food security issues. what better way than to cross thresholds. he's done a bunch of this stuff.
he's known for being on the edge, as it were. i think pretending gives him 'em path i and he can bring that out. it can be short-lived is the problem. what would you rather have? would you rather hear from a dry sociologist or hear a mayor on his twilter feed. that's the age we live in. he goes out to raise the issue. what happens after? is it tied up with any kind of policy? is he educating people in his cabinet? those are the questions. it's great for raising empathy. 30 days from now, we'll wonder what's the lasting effect. >> i wonder about the extent to which it raises empathy. i like the experiment. i find it compelling. i always find cory booker's twitter feed compelling. there's something about assuming that you can don poverty or don blackness or don queer identity for part of your day or life. now i know what it's like to be
poor. without the durability and the inability to get out of it, you don't actually quite know what it's like. >> no. i mean, i think that elected leaders always bring a lot of both their personality and their life experiences as they should to the work that we do and to draw attention to the issues about which we're passionate. on the one hand, i think it's really great. i talk about going to food pantries, not because i was trying to draw attention to it, but because i had to live by going to a food pantry to support myself and my son. i think that that is really important. not to lose the policy. you know, so members of congress, for example take that food stamp challenge and then we have to work on the policies and make sure that we preserve those important nutrition programs. cory booker has the same obligation in the city that he represents to do the same thing. so it's a mixed bag. but we should always draw attention to our experiences in doing public policy because then people know that we've lived the
lives that they have, which is sort different from pretending to live the life that somebody does and then have the luxury of being able to go back to your own refrigerator and know that it's stocked and full. >> eventually. even if you know it's 30 days out. kenji, you and i were talking about this earlier. there's something about the fact that because he does it, we end up having a conversation about it that we might not otherwise have. >> absolutely. i acknowledge all of the dangers, empathy that the representative is raising. because you can actually go back to a more privileged life. i think the question is always compared to what? what's a baseline here for the ethics of this action? if it's between sort of living a life of poverty and doing that, then maybe that would be more admirable, right? it would be more admirable. that's not really the reference point. the reference point is are you a mayor who does that or are you a mayor who doesn't do that? i think what the mayor is doing
is in a long and honorable tradition including nickel and dimed in 2001 where she went to three different cities around the country and tried to live on a working wage, a blue collar wage. she got all of the same criticisms for having -- she was asked if she had a cappuccino fund on the side. she was accused of being able to go back to her privileged life. >> black like me, howard griffin living as an african-american man to supply him with pigment altering chemicals, he lived as an african-american man in the south and then went back to the life of privilege. i think they all go back transformed and i think a lot has to do with how they carry themselves. if they say i now totally understand the plight of the person i'm impersonating. it's bogus. but that's not what they're saying. >> he lived as an african-american man or a gay man or that barbara lived as a poor person, not really.
because my black mostly sunny is not my skin color. it's all of these other attendant aspects of my humanity and my culture and my biography. you can't put it on, right? so there's a way in which i wonder if when we do it that way, we assume then that each of these -- my sexuality is just who i make love to, my race is just the color of my skin. >> we have to look at the individual cases. with cory booker for example, if he's bringing the -- trying to put the spotlight on hunger and poverty, i think that's really important. because for example, your show is one of the few on television that will deal with poverty in any kind of an in-depth way. booker is not only talking about poverty. he is immersed in the lives of his residents in newark, many of whom are poor. since he's a mayor, he's in a position to do something about policy. >> right. >> other times you'll see somebody that's just doing something, it seems like a lark, you don't see much of an upside
for it. you have to look at the individual cases. when i come back, i want to ask about the other aspect. part of is it the psychology, but when you write a book about it, they pay you for that. there's a profit question on the other side. we'll take a quick break and when we come back, i want to talk more about what do we learn by pretending. [ loud party sounds ]
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then you publish it. or you go on the academic job market with it or you run for office with it. you end up benefiting in ways that may be disproportionate compared to the communities that you've studied. i think this is the main ethical question we face. how do we manage that? >> i think you have to turn that knowledge partly into use for people who serve the communities that you're studying. otherwise, it's a one-way street. i had this unique experience where one of my students had to give away a lot of money, about $78 million. he said i want to start a foundation and i want to learn about poverty. he said i really want to go deep in it. will you take me to chicago and introduce me to poor people. this is going to be another stunt. i helped him. larry is the squatter he met. he said what if you live in my squat for a weekend. the donor thought this is going to be easy. they started at friday at 5:00 p.m.
the guy was very wealthy lasted until about 11:00 at night. he bought some beer, went to mcdonald's and they agreed they would do it on $25. that's it. he was done. larry the squatter bought peanut butter, jelly, bread he was ready for the weekend. over the course of that time, what happened is that the donor learned something about the ingenuity and creativity of people. he said the greatest thing that happened to me and the year after that was not that i learned how to help poor people. i learned how to help wealthy white donors better understand before they give money away. i think that shock value is curricula, if done appropriately can help. if it's a pr stunt, it's one-way. >> i think i just want to draw that out one more time. it's so often, i think we assume that the person in the position of privilege has to go have the experience and then speak for the other. right? obviously, it's a representative you do a lot of speaking for your constituents, but part of
the brilliance of communities that struggle and i don't mean to do a like poverty is pastoral and lovely or something. but that communities actually have all kinds of problem solving in their own communities. we need to tap into what they already know, not bring our great wisdom to it. >> i think that's really true. anything that we can do that empowers communities to identify and tackle their own problems actually strengthens them for the future. you have this kind of mix where on the one hand you want to draw attention to an issue. you want to make sure that the larger public is paying attention to it. part of that is because then you can get public policy dollars, philanthropic dollars and other kinds of resources to those communities that then allow them to come up with their own solutions and implement them in their communities. >> that feels like the great work of journalists. when journalism is doing beautiful work, it's finding people's voices. >> exactly. that was the point i wanted to get to. you don't want to speak for the other. you can't drop in for a weekend,
a month or even a couple of years and then speak for the folks that you were with. but what you can do is give an accurate picture of what they're experiencing. you can show other people what the fact are and you can bring their situation to a larger audience. hopefully, if these are folks in trouble, it will be an audience that can do something to mitigate their pain or their situation. >> there's almost a part of me like on the one hand loves what cory booker is up to but then want to see mayor booker always sitting there with his constituents. with actual folks who can tell us their stories. >> yeah. i think it places some burden on us as listeners too, to engage in a more active form of listening. the professor at harvard has a great distinction between narrative compassion and statistical compassion. she uses the example of president reagan. she said he had narrative compassion in spades. he would tear up talking to a
homeless person. if you handed him statistics about homelessness, his eyes would glaze over. that's acog any tiff disability that all of us have to some degree. we process information much better through a moving story than the hard work of going through statistics. >> i feel like you just made the academic case for multiple method methodology. you got to tell the big stories and then the small stories within. thank you to kenji and congresswoman edwards and bob and sudh richlt r. it's time for a preview with weekends for alex witt hosted by tom roberts. >> i love the way you planted the rainbow flag proudly and firmly in nerdland today. i tweeted a picture for everybody. we'll talk about that too coming up. supreme court taking up marriage equality. why are some supporters actually a little worried about this. jim deminute being called the tea party's king make he shall.
he's stepping by. plus what the threat of syria using bombs loaded with nerve gas, chemical weapons, what should the united states do? i'm talking with ambassador dennis ross about that. in office politics, alex talks to nis cal christophe with a tale of two receipts that will shock you. >> thanks, soec much. thomas. our favorite golden girl. olympic superstar gabrielle douglas joins us live. introducing zzzquil sleep-aid. it's not for colds, it's not for pain, it's just for sleep. because sleep is a beautiful thing. ♪ zzzquil, the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil.
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okay. something cool happened on friday. i ran into gabrielle douglas at 30rock. she vaulted into our hearts and into history at the olympic game this is summer. she became the first african-american to win a gold in both the individual all around and team competitions in the same olympics. now, as i revealed in my
interview with dominique dawes just before the summer games, i love women's gymnastics. this summer, gabrielle earned a second fan in our household. my 10-year-old daughter, parker. when parker heard i met gabrielle, she asked me if she could take over my normal footnote time and interview her about her new book, "grace, god and glory." joining me is gabrielle douglas and my daughter, parker. you had a few questions. >> what did it feel like to achieve your dream? >> it felt amazing to achieve my dreams knowing that me and my family and i sacrificed so much and we went through hardships and difficult times and what i had to overcome to get to the olympics. it was an amazing feeling to get to the top of the podium.
>> how important was your family to achieving your dream? >> my family was important. it was amazing they could come to london and support me all the way. i don't think i could have done it without them behind me. >> i heard you had to deal with bullying. what is your advice to other girls? >> always speak up. i was that girl that held it in. the next day was a bright and shining day. if you feel like you are being bullied, speak up. don't hold it in and take it. i would definitely recommend you speak up and tell an adult and know that they know best. >> can i ask one question, too? as you are asking about the bullying question. parker goes to an all-girl school. sometimes we talk about mean girls but girls supporting one another. you were on a women's olympic team. did you experience mean girls culture or more of the girls
helping and supporting one another? >> well, i always experience girls helping one another and when -- in gymnastics world they are like you can do it. they give you motivational speeches and say calm down, take a breath. >> go parker. >> so, what is your advice to other girls who have to try to achieve their dreams? >> my advice would be if you are trying to achieve your dreams, don't ever stop. the world is yours. you can overcome. they are going through struggles. it doesn't matter what your background is or how much money you have. if you trust and believe in yourself, you can get there. >> are you going to the olympics ever again? >> i am thinking about it. 2016 is in my mind. i'm excited. i think it would be fun. >> i'm interested, parker, what was your favorite part of watching gabrielle douglas in
the olympic this is year? >> i loved the back flip and the vault. >> thank you. it's fun. >> you are really good. >> do you do work with young gymnasts? is that what it means to be part of a champion? >> you mean coaching? >> i know i saw you at the white house. is part of what you do going into the areas and talk about their dreams? >> yeah. if you work very, very hard, have the determination, and drive you will get there. i love to do that. passing around the message saying you can do it. >> parker and i are the only child daughter and mom and i saw your mom here when you were here on friday. you know, parker, you are going to be 11 pretty soon and sometimes there's like momma daughter things.
yeah, some of that. how do you manage that as a young woman coming through on the one hand support and the mom/daughter stuff? >> what do you mean? >> maybe you don't have m mom/daughter stuff. >> we do. i'm blessed to have a supportive mom. she's a fighter. i don't know what i would do without my mom. she's helped me through thick and thin. she's cared on me. she's an amazing mom. >> you talk about faith in your book and the importance of a good strong faith relationship. how has that been important? >> it's definitely played a big role in my life. i don't know where i would be without it today. he's blessed me so much. he gave me the opportunity to go represent him. i'm going to share my faith through everyone. i'm going to go around and express that god has been so
good to me. >> parker, you asked gabrielle how young girls should achieve their dream. what is the dream now? >> i liked the fact that you were the first african-american woman to go to the olympics and win the gold medal. i think my goal is to do that now. >> you're going to win a gold medal? >> yeah. i'm going to bring it home. >> that's amazing. >> i feel like i'm going to be signing up for classes i didn't know about here. thank you for taking time to sit down with us and parker. we have a thing we call doing the gabby, which will change to gabrielle. when we are excited and feel like we have had an accomplishment, what is it we do? >> yes. we say yes. we are going to give ourselves a gabby. >> i love that. awesome. that's amazing, i love that. >> thank you for inspiring us.
thank you to gab ree egg. "grace, gold and glory clsh my leap of faith." that was our show today. see you next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. next coming up, weekends with alex witt. with the spark miles card from capital one, thor gets great rewards for his small business! your boa! [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day! ahh, the new fabrics. put it on my spark card. ow. [ garth ] why settle for less? the spiked heels are working. wait! [ garth ] great businesses deserve great rewards. [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? [ cheers and applause ]